Students Mary Brooks Perkey and Zoe Weitzner excitedly high-five Mr. Sandoe as they discuss their trip to Vietnam.
Juniors Mary Brooks Perkey and Zoe Weitzner  high-five Mr. Sandoe as they discuss their trip to Vietnam. Photo: Amy Butler

Students look forward to the announcement of the highly-anticipated Global Ed trips every year. It gives students a chance to experience something different from everyday life and to broaden their perspectives of countries around the world. This year, trips include Vietnam, Cuba and Peru, among others. Whether they have an academic, cultural or adventure focus, all of the trips will have a lasting impact on travelers.

The annual Habitat for Humanity service trip’s destination is Vietnam. Departing March 3, volunteers will focus on building houses in rural villages in Vietnam. Previous Habitat student volunteers have visited Bolivia, Jordan and Romania. To fully immerse in Vietnamese culture, the students will stay with families, eat the local food and visit important landmarks. Students will tour Ho Chi Ming City, Ha Long Bay and the Cu Chi Tunnels. “After this trip, students will have the great feeling that comes with service and the joy of helping other people,” said trip leader Mr. Sandoe.

Since 1960, the embargo placed on Cuba by the United States devastated their economy and shut them off to U.S. cultural influences. Flash forward to 2015, and the embargo has finally been lifted after lots of controversy. Trip leaders Dra. Pontes and Mr. Newman believe that traveling to Cuba will be particularly interesting. This is due to the fact that Cuba has developed in a unique manner and was not affected by the United States for over 50 years. “Planning this trip has been a little difficult, because everything must be approved by the Cuban government, students being accompanied by a guide at all times, and obtaining visas,” said Dra. Pontes.  Departing March 5, the trip will focus on Cuban culture. To incorporate the ICGL theme of food, trip participants will eat at Cuban restaurants and visit Cuban farms.

A couple of years ago, Ms. Stevens and Ms. Robinson traveled to Peru and absolutely loved the adventure and atmosphere of the country. They wanted to share their experience with students, so they applied to take a Global Ed trip there. Trip highlights will include trekking up Machu Picchu, digging at Inca archaeological sites and salt mining. The students will learn how to create a Peruvian dish, spend the day with a chef and travel to a chocolate museum to further expand their knowledge of food. The trip is scheduled for June 3-14.